One of these donations included a portion of the land he owned in Bracken county, which he donated to the city of Augusta, Kentucky. This plot of land was a lot which was soon named the Augusta Public Square, and was officially donated to the city in 1801. After its donation, the city began to brainstorm ideas on how to best utilize the land, eventually settling on the construction of a city courthouse which was finished in 1806. Soon after, the city began work on the establishment on a county jail, which was completed in 1811 and named the Bracken County Jail. The courthouse burned in 1848; however, the jail survived and, after the county seat moved shortly afterward, the jail was renamed the Augusta Jail and continued to be used by the city.
The jail was a two story brick and wood building, with the upper floor being reserved for the residence of the jailer and his family and the bottom floor being comprised of multiple holding cells. The jail is of tremendous historical significance not merely because of its connection to Buckner and the beginnings of Augusta, but because of the role it played in the Civil War as well, as its history is tied to the Underground Railroad. The area surrounding Augusta was frequently used as a crossing point for slaves fleeing the unjust treatment they were subjugated to. Sometimes, however, these individuals were caught during their attempt to flee and were held in the Augusta jail until they were transported back to the south, sometimes accompanied by the Bracken county residents who attempted to shelter or aid them. Among those residents who attempted to aid in the operation of the Underground Railroad were James Cripps, a former school teacher, as well as Doc Perkins, a free black man nicknamed doctor as a result of his home remedies, and John Fee Jr, an abolitionist who later went on to establish Berea College.
Today, the is still standing; however, it is no longer in use. In 2009, the jail was restored to the best of the city's ability and opened up to tourists.